Sports cyclist dies after collision during long distance ride
A SPORTS cyclist has died after an accident during an organised club run through country lanes near Stroud.
Rider Pat Appleton, 67, from Berkeley, suffered serious injuries in a collision between her bike and a van with a trailer beneath a railway bridge in Coaley.
Emergency services were quickly at the spot, on the corner outside Old Westfield Farmhouse between Coaley and Frocester, after the incident at lunchtime on Saturday.
Mrs Appleton, who fellow cyclists said was a retired postlady, was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
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Police, who also attended, said she later died of her injuries.
"She was a really good cyclist. She used to be a racing cyclist," said Daphne Edwards, from Box in Stroud.
Mrs Edwards, secretary of Stroud Valleys Cycle Club, was among riders who left flowers at the scene of the accident yesterday morning.
Cyclist Jill Deeley from Gloucester was also among those who paid tribute to Mrs Appleton.
"We are Stonehouse Wheelers and our ride was going this way this morning so we brought flowers," Mrs Deeley said.
A large number of cyclists, from many different clubs, had been involved in the 100km outing organised by Audax UK, the foremost long distance cycling association in the UK, on Saturday.
Retired GP Michael Whallett, 73, was among those first on the scene of the collision.
Dr Whallett, from Thornbury, whose son Nicholas, 39, owns Old Westfield Farmhouse, said he began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to try and help.
He said the road under the bridge was dangerous and more cautions were required.
Road signs near the bridge currently warn only of an 11 feet nine inches height restriction.
Dr Whallett said: "It needs dead slow or slow down painted on the road, or oncoming vehicles in the middle of the road."
Further witnesses should contact police quoting incident 357 of January 15.